Fourth bicycling-motor vehicle death and second hit-and-run amplifies call-to-action on traffic safety.

The fourth fatal crash involving a person riding a bicycle and a motor vehicle has tragically taken the life of David Ryder as he was bicycling home from his work in the early morning hours of September 8th.  This was the second time in 2015 that a driver ran over a person riding a bicycle and left the scene.  

There were reports that no alcohol was involved in the crash, but investigators say it was raining heavily at the time of the crash. Ryder was reported to be wearing light colored clothing and had lights on his bicycle as required by law. 

Iowa law requires operators of vehicles to keep a proper look out to avoid crashes. Crashes, such as this, serve as a tragic reminder that motorists need to focus on the road.  If rain, setting sun, or environmental conditions impair the view of drivers, the proper course of action would be to slow down or stop driving until the conditions clear.  

The Coalition expects a fair and full investigation.  Appropriate charges should be filed following the investigation. In cases where a driver is convicted of causing a fatal crash or serious injury, an enhanced penalty of $1,000 and a license revocation could apply.  Neither of these penalties will reverse the death of David Ryder.  

For the second time in less than a month, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition is calling for action on Iowa’s Vision Zero program that aims to eliminate all traffic fatalities.  While the Vision Zero program isn’t specific to bicycles, it is a good place to start eliminating the three to five traffic deaths per year involving bicyclists. We are going to need a paradigm shift in our driving habits, transportation system, and enforcement strategies in order to prevent more cyclists from being run over and killed.